Menghai Palace Ripened Pu-erh Cake Tea 2008

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Brown Sugar, Caramel, Dates, Earth, Leather, Maple Syrup
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Edit tea info Last updated by Cameron B.
Average preparation
Boiling 2 min, 45 sec 9 g 12 oz / 368 ml

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12 Tasting Notes View all

  • “Thanks Teavivre for the sample! This is a very smooth puerh. It starts off a lot more subtle than most I've had. It's not terribly memorable, but at least it tastes good. :P Just a basic sweet...” Read full tasting note
    madametj 250 tasting notes
  • “I am not a pu-erh drinker, let me say that right out. I have one or two I like, but overall I don't reach for it. So read this review with a grain of salt, because I really don't know what I'm...” Read full tasting note
    ladykittykat 1320 tasting notes
  • “I'm finding this tea quite bitter, first and second infusions. I thought I let the first infusion go too long, so I reduced the time, but the bitterness is still there. It's still drinkable, and...” Read full tasting note
    scribbles 240 tasting notes
  • “Thank you Angel at Teavivre for this sample. It has taken me a while to get to this tea. I have spent a lot of nights lately avoiding caffeine, plus for a while my taste buds were off and I...” Read full tasting note
    AllanK 359 tasting notes

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12 Tasting Notes

250 tasting notes

Thanks Teavivre for the sample!

This is a very smooth puerh. It starts off a lot more subtle than most I’ve had. It’s not terribly memorable, but at least it tastes good. :P Just a basic sweet ripe puerh taste.

You can tell that this tea is good quality because it keeps giving and giving! When I was done drinking I brewed it about 8 more times for my yixing pot to soak in.

Flavors: Brown Sugar

8 tsp 3 OZ / 80 ML

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1320 tasting notes

I am not a pu-erh drinker, let me say that right out. I have one or two I like, but overall I don’t reach for it. So read this review with a grain of salt, because I really don’t know what I’m doing.

The directions on the sample said to brew for 3-10 minutes in 17 ounces of water. So I got out my 16 ounce nordic mug and brewed it for 2 minutes, but first I let it brew for 30 seconds and threw that out as a rinse.

The smell of the brewed tea is very earthy. Reminds me of when I’ve just opened up Pao’s cage and the smell of the wet soil hits me. Not a bad thing, just different. I smell hay too.

Now, don’t shoot me. I added two teaspoons of sugar because that is how I take every tea I drink. Without the sugar, I am guaranteed not to like it, so I’d rather add sugar for a tasting note so I’m not just sipping it, thinking “this needs sugar, I don’t like it”.

I don’t really know how to describe what I’m tasting. It’s earthy and nutty and sweet. I…I’m enjoying, but I’ve not become a convert by any means. It’s alright, but not something I could ever see myself reaching for. I’m not rating it because it’s not fair for me to negatively rate something I knew I wouldn’t enjoy.

Thank you, TeaVivre, for letting me try this tea, you are extremely generous!

Boiling 2 min, 0 sec 12 g 16 OZ / 473 ML

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240 tasting notes

I’m finding this tea quite bitter, first and second infusions. I thought I let the first infusion go too long, so I reduced the time, but the bitterness is still there. It’s still drinkable, and I’ll keep going as long as the leaves keep giving.

Both infusions brew up really dark, like coffee, and it is strong. The first infusion was earthy and bitter. I did pick up dates too.

Infusion two is earthy and bitter, with a bit of nuttiness.

Because of the bitterness, it’s not really a favourite of mine, but for now it’s keeping me warm on this really cold day.

Thanks for sharing Cameron B!

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359 tasting notes

Thank you Angel at Teavivre for this sample. It has taken me a while to get to this tea. I have spent a lot of nights lately avoiding caffeine, plus for a while my taste buds were off and I couldn’t give a tea like this a fair review on the Teavivre site. This was a strong tea. It was sweet in the first infusion. There was a slight bitterness in the second infusion. This soon went away and the sweetness returned. Some of the fermentation flavor was gone, not all, about what you’d expect from a 2008 tea. Other people noted notes of earth, leather and caramel. I definitely noticed the notes of earth and caramel and I think there was a sweet note of dates as well. I did not find any sour notes in this tea. It was good. It was relaxing as any good puerh should be. I did not get tea drunk, it wasn’t that relaxing.

I steeped this tea six times in a 207ml Taiwan Clay Teapot with 10g leaf and boiling water. I steeped it for 10 sec, 5 sec, 10 sec, 15 sec, 20 sec, and 30 sec. I did not appreciably weaken even in the sixth steep. It is a strong tea. I could have gotten at least six more steeps out of the brew, judging by the strength of the sixth steep.

Flavors: Caramel, Dates, Earth

Boiling 0 min, 15 sec 10 g 7 OZ / 207 ML

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17 tasting notes

I’ve been drinking this with my mum over the last couple of days, and she found it very nice, quite light, and calming.

I didn’t enjoy it as much, but I’m not sure why – it has a lovely earthy-leather scent, and the early steeps were nicely sweet – a little syrup-ish (in a nice, caramel way). It wasn’t too overpowering (very strong puerhs aren’t to my taste much), but it didn’t quite come together for me; the shous I’ve enjoyed the most have a woody or woodsmoke undertone, so maybe I’m just missing that darker note.

Flavors: Caramel, Earth, Leather, Maple Syrup

Boiling 0 min, 15 sec 5 g 3 OZ / 100 ML

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161 tasting notes

Again my thanks to Angel and Teavivre for this sample!

Unlike some (or many), I happen to enjoy the Pu-erh teas a lot, particularly in the morning. The strong leathery/earthy smell and taste seem to help my brain kick into gear as I start my day. Maybe this species acts as a form of smelling salts for me. Whatever it is, I like it!

When I opened the sample package, the ol’ trusty leathery smell jumped from within. I steeped the “cake” (which resembled matted brown grass and sticks) for nine minutes. The recommended maximum steep time was 10 minutes so I decided to push the envelope today.

With nine minutes of steeping under its belt, the brewed liquor was a very dark brown that almost approached the black end of the color spectrum. The brewed aroma had Pu-erh written all over it: leathery, earthy, robust.

The taste of this tea, even after almost maximum steeping time, was amazingly smooth and delicious. The expected leather and earth flavors were strong and enunciated. But, there was also a slightly sweet characteristic in the taste. My taste buds detected no astringency whatsoever. The aftertaste was surprisingly smooth and did not linger more than a few moments.

This is a greatly satisfying new tea offering from Teavivre. 2008 must have been a superb year for Pu-erh. Folks seem to either love or hate this tea type. If you already love Pu-erh, you will love LOVE this Pu-erh!

Flavors: Earth, Leather

Boiling 8 min or more 3 tsp 24 OZ / 709 ML

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994 tasting notes

I’m glad I only had one sample packet of this. It is drinkable, but not my favorite shu ever.

First steep was a little musty…subsequent steeps are a little more open, with a sweetness and nuttiness. Not bad, but not something I’d purchase :)


I guess we are just spoiled;)


Yeah, I partially blame you, LOL! You have sent me SO many delicious shu puerh samples :D


Any time;)

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1876 tasting notes

Well! this was a bold move, but one I have made successfully before!

A lady was coming over whom I met over 25 years ago, but our interaction has been a once a year email to confirm her address and the occasional “Hi! How are you?” in the grocery store.

I invited her for tea and she accepted. I asked about preferences and she said she liked hot tea but drinks a few herbals and some things from the grocery in bags that she wasn’t really sure what exactly they were. She described a bitter black tea that someone gave her and she hated.

I chose to open with a second steep pot of this puerh! So many people, including myself and some of my friends here, were afraid of puerh at first. I am finding it to be a great opening tea for newbies, though.

Bottom line – we sniffed it, commented on the aroma, I said barn, she said horse manure, we laughed, she drank, she…..LIKED it! A LOT!

It was paired with toasted bread, crusts off, topped with diced German Johnson tomatoes from my garden with Brie melted on top and Sunny Paris seasoning which has the most delicious bits of purple shallots. It was really nice together because the pu held its own with the food. She refilled her cup several times before moving on to the next two teas. One of which totally won her heart….


You are amazing. How you got a casual friend to trust you enough to drink horse manure is mind blowing stuff. Once past the smell this sure does sell itself. I have no idea what most of what you ate is, beyond toast and tomatoes, but glad it worked.


ooooooOOOOoooooo she was brave to try it even though she said it smelled like horse manure.


Lolz on the horse manure…


Lots of shu puerh smells like a faint whiff (okay, sometimes more than a faint whiff) of horse manure to me. But the taste is magnificent! The first pu I tried smelled like dead fish and shrimp shells and THAT took some courage to try! Fortunately, it tasted all right, but I have found lots of nice puerh since then!

I know, wasn’t she sweet and trusting to taste it anyway, since it was something she never heard of and didn’t expect?


The first ripe I ever had was a box of free puerh tea bags I got with a teapot order. Those bags were the fishy-est things, no wonder they were free. Vendor suggested rinsing fishy puerh in cold water before doing a hot rinse, it helped a little, but man oh man…


I still have some of the first I bought. It came in a 8 oz tin and cost like $8. It smelled like dead fish wrapped in wet newspaper and stored in a cellar – seriously offensive. I drank it anyway – with lots of chocolate mint. After a few years it has mellowed out and is actually quite drinkable all on its own.


I remember the first sheng , tasted like heavy smoke an XiaGuan 8113. Didn’t toss is still have it. First shou, a $12.00 Ebay auction. One brew and I tossed the whole cake. You did well to make a convert.Very hard to do with puerh.


I kept that fishy stuff for a long time, and finally read on here that if you let it air out for a couple of hours that aroma would dissipate, I let the little tuo chas sit out for two days in a bowl, drank them, and never bought those again! Even the better pu at A Southern Season has a bit of a wang to it.


A wang! :D

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318 tasting notes

I am really determined to be a pu person. It reminds me a lot of when I started drinking wine, and I thought the Moscatos and Masvasias were the end-all, be-all of wines. Then as I got further along my wine spectrum, I started appreciating the heartier, heavier ones that tasted awful to me at the beginning. Instinct tells me that that will happen with tea too, and I’m pushing ahead to get there.

So, this tea. I used all of the envelope, because it looked like a single serving. Now I know it was probably WAY overleafed, which explains a lot. It was crazy dark. I didn’t even let it steep, because as soon as I put the water in, it was dark like tobacco juice (ever have a grasshopper spit on you?)

I remember back when I was just getting weaned from tea bags, the thought of a tea tasting like sweet potatoes made me go “yeah, right” – and now I drink teas like that just about daily. So I was a bit “yeah right”-y about the whole leather, barnyard, tobacco, etc. profile. But it’s there. No fishy smell or flavor, which was nice.

Anyway, I drank it until I gave out. It didn’t. So I set the gaiwan in the fridge and will play with it again today.

The funny part was, my 18-year-old daughter came by and tried it, and liked it right away.

Cameron B.

Hey, don’t hate on the Moscatos! ;)

(I’m not a wine person but I like those, lol…)


Still like those too!

Cameron B.

Did you use the parameters from TeaVivre’s website? I still need to try my sample of this. :D


I looked but didn’t see any, here or there. So I was just winging it. Maybe I just missed them.

Cameron B.

Hah, that’s awesome. You’re right, this one doesn’t have ant instructions on their website. I guess I’ll wing it too later. :P


If I could go back, I would use half of what I used.

Cameron B.

I can usually get two or three servings out of their little sample pouches, so that sounds about right.


I thought the typically excepted method was 1g:1oz? How much water did you use? If you used a cup then the amount should have been about right. Rinse a couple times, and then ~20 sec infusions is what I did


Puerhs are kind of hard to measure!


..and when you think it’s aaaalll done. throw the rest in to a cold brew overnight :)


And you need scale! Once you get it you will wonder how you lived without it. Same goes for variable temp kettle


I have a scale and a variable temp, but couldn’t find any brewing parameters for this one. Nothing on the package, their site, or here.


Usually 1g for 1oz
This one I use 10g for 4-5 oz because its nuggets
I like 5-7g for 4-5oz
Have you seen Brenden of WP started a new thread today abt gongfu puer? Very informative


I second the scale as puerh can vary a lot. What looks like 10 grams could be 15. I would get one with a “tare” function so you can put the leaf directly in the brewing vessel.

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294 tasting notes

Looks like tonight is a night of pu. This has the typical wet earth/pond water smell that I associate with puerh. I used the big chunk (maybe 8-9g) with 7-8 oz of boiling water. I started with 2 20 second rinses, and then did 20,20,25,25,30,35 second steeps. The tea liquor is the deepest darkest red tinged brown, it almost looks squishy and inky.

Taste wise, this is earthy but sort of nutty and caramel like. Deep and dark and mysterious, but smooth and creamy and sweet. I don’t get the cocoa notes that I sometimes get from puerh, but it’s still good.

Boiling 0 min, 30 sec 8 g 8 OZ / 236 ML

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